BIM Coordinator Program (INT) April 22, 2024

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Sustainable design
About EcoDesigner, Energy Evaluation, Life Cycle Assessment, etc.

Energy Modeling in design process

Not applicable

Our firm has been using ArchiCAD 18 and 19 and we are interested in incorporating energy modeling into our design workflow. The Energy Evaluation tool seems to lightweight to be helpful, although that may be due to my limited use of it. EcoDesigner Star is not available to us here in the US, but seems to be more of what we are looking for.

Does anyone have other software that they use for this? We are looking at exporting to Sketchup or just using Sketchup for SD so that we can use the Sefaira plugin and get real time energy and daylighting analysis, but that seems cumbersome.

We are only an 8 man design operation so many of the energy modeling tools like OpenStudio are too burly for our needs and would require one or two staff to be focused on them full time, and do not seem to be made for early design analysis.

Any other tools or workflows that you are finding work well?

Thanks for your help and advice!
Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Alanerniquez wrote:
I was thinking whether I should remove this link or not as it seems kind of like a spam link.
But I checked the site and this application has a gbXML import option, which means that it probably can import gbXML saved from ARCHICAD (gbXML export is now part of the ARCHICAD 20 package).
So I decided to leave it since it is loosely ARCHICAD-related.
Loving Archicad since 1995 - Find Archicad Tips at
AMD Ryzen9 5900X CPU, 64 GB RAM 3600 MHz, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), Windows 10 PRO ENG, Ac20-Ac27
We use Sefaira in Sketchup for most of our in-house needs, such as early concept modeling and 2030 Challenge reporting. It's a great balance between simplicity and power, and the web interface is nice since you never have to update any software. Unlike most programs that demand input, it will work with a few starter entries, and you can narrow it down as you develop the design.

Typically, our Engineers run the detailed ASHRAE analysis for LEED projects.

As far as integrating with ArchiCAD, it's a little tricky. ArchiCAD exports to Sketchup nicely, but usually with way too much complexity. Sefaira works best with minimal planes. In most cases, we've had to spend time "cleaning up" the model by erasing layers of the walls, or just redrawing the envelope altogether.

I'm working on using the ArchiCAD 20 Graphic Overrides to try to simplify the model enough that the process is easier. I'll report back.

It's one of my long-standing wishes that ArchiCAD provide a Reference-Plane Only view option, perhaps part of the Partial Structure Display. Not only would this be useful for export to Sketchup, but would provide super high-speed 3D model navigation. I think it would be a nice early conceptual design tool as well.
Chuck Kottka
Orcutt Winslow
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

ArchiCAD 25 (since 4.5)
Macbook Pro 15" Touchbar OSX 10.15 Core i7 2.9GHz/16GB RAM/Radeon Pro560 4GB
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